Damar Hamlin expected to play in Bills’ preseason opener

Damar Hamlin’s comeback is expected to hit another milestone Saturday afternoon.

Bills coach Sean McDermott told the Associated Press that Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest on the field during a game against the Bengals on Jan. 2, is scheduled to start Buffalo’s first preseason game against the Colts.

“This is to some extent uncharted territory for me as well, and all of us. So we’re just trying to do the best we can to be there for him,” McDermott told reporters earlier this week.

“I try to keep a close eye on where he is and where he’s showing up and how he’s responding. And he’s done a great job.”

Hamlin collapsed on the field after making a seemingly routine tackle on Bengals wideout Tee Higgins in early January.

He said earlier this week that he is trying to take his comeback one step at a time.


Damar Hamlin is slated to play for the Bills in their first preseason game against the Colts, on Saturday afternoon, marking another step in his comeback.
Damar Hamlin is slated to play for the Bills in their first preseason game against the Colts on Saturday afternoon, marking another step in his comeback.
Getty Images

“Trying to look forward, it just creates a lot of anxiety, a lot of unnecessary feelings,” Hamlin said.

“If you stay in the moment, it allows you to process it when you’re there.”

Hamlin was fully cleared to rejoin the Bills in April.


Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field after tackling Bengals wideout Tee Higgins.
Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field after tackling Bengals wideout Tee Higgins.
Getty Images

Bills GM Brandon Beane said that Hamlin was cleared by three separate specialists.

”They’re all in agreement — it’s not two to one or three to one or anything like that — they’re all in lockstep of what this was and that he is cleared to resume full activities just like anyone else that was coming back from an injury,” Beane said at the time.

“He’s fully cleared. He’s here. And he is of the mindset — he’s in a great headspace — to come back and make his return.”

There was a particularly heartwarming scene when Hamlin intercepted a pass in a training camp practice earlier this month.